The Egyptian President, Hosni Mubarak, has promised further domestic reforms at the annual conference of his ruling National Democratic Party in Cairo, BBC reported.
In the opening speech, Mr Mubarak laid out plans for much-needed improvements to healthcare, education and transport.
However, the president did not address growing speculation that his son, Gamal, is being groomed to succeed him.
He has yet to announce whether will decide to run for a sixth term in the next presidential election in 2011.
On the eve of the conference, the NDP's secretary-general said that choosing a successor to the president was not on the agenda.
"We have a special conference to choose the party's candidate... which is not held annually, and choosing the party's candidate for the presidency would be its one and only subject," said Safwat al-Sharif.
Mr Mubarak made no mention of the presidential election in his speech on Saturday, but promised a "free, fair and competitive" parliamentary vote next year.
"We welcome competition and objective opposition," he told delegates.
Analysts say Mr Mubarak is under pressure from the United States - a close ally and major aid donor - to introduce democratic reforms.
Opposition and civil society groups have long complained that the authorities have used emergency laws and the security forces to curb political freedoms.
Religious parties are banned, including the Muslim Brotherhood.
Mr Mubarak said the NDP's powerful policy secretariat, headed by his son Gamal, had an ambitious programme of reforms.
"The party's young members... have a clear vision for the nation's future, and propose new ideas to deal with the reality," he added.
On Sunday, the younger Mubarak will take centre stage when he addresses the conference.